The big news of the week came from Raisin UK, launching exclusive three and five year fixed rate bonds through AgriBank that are head and shoulders above the competition.
There were also some interesting changes in the one year fixed rate bond and fixed rate ISA best buy tables, with providers fighting each other for top spot – with the outcome decided in the end by the smallest of margins.
Amongst one year fixed rate bonds, there was a new entry from Close Brothers Savings, which went straight in at the top of our table.
Meanwhile, there was a skirmish between OakNorth and Shawbrook Bank in our one year fixed rate cash ISA table, with the lead switching twice in the space of just a few hours earlier in the week.
Meanwhile, Sharia compliant accounts continue to offer competitive rates – in some cases higher than the standard fixed rate equivalents - so could also be worth a look.
There was also interesting news this week from RCI Bank, a provider that has consistently appeared at the top end of the easy access market since it launched in 2015.
The provider now has a UK Banking Licence, which means that deposits are covered by the UK Financial Service Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
Finally, there were some competitive variable rate cash ISAs launched by both Paragon and Yorkshire Building Society for those looking to utilise their ISA allowance before the end of the current tax year.
For an overview of the whole savings market and to look at the top options in all categories, make sure you consult our independent best buy tables and if you want to keep up to date with best buy rates as they hit the market, sign up to our Rate Alert emails.
Fixed Rate Bonds
In a move late in the week, Raisin UK launched new exclusive products through AgriBank that lead the respective tables by a significant margin.
It is worth noting that deposits placed in these accounts are not protected by the UK Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) – instead funds are covered by the Maltese Depositor Compensation Scheme up to the equivalent of €100,000 per person.
In addition to the rates on offer, a welcome bonus of up to £100 is on offer for new Raisin UK customers.
Amongst shorter term bonds, Close Brothers Savings moved to the top of our one year fixed rate bond best buy table this week.
The new account pays 1.96% gross/AER, moving ahead of the pack by the smallest of margins. The account can be opened by post, with a minimum of £10,000.
For those with smaller amounts to deposit, there are several alternatives available, from the likes of FirstSave and Ikano Bank. Both of these options are paying 1.95% gross/AER - so just behind the new leader.
Also paying 1.95% gross/AER is an account that is exclusively available through Raisin UK.
For full information on each of these accounts and for a range of other options, please refer to our full fixed rate bond best buy tables.
Fixed Rate Cash ISAs
There was also an interesting battle in our one year fixed rate cash ISA table, with the lead changing hands twice in the space of just a few short hours earlier in the week.
Firstly, OakNorth moved into joint first place in the table, with a new version of its fixed rate ISA that was paying 1.76% tax free/AER.
Shawbrook Bank then released a new version of its own one year fixed rate cash ISA paying 1.77% tax free/AER – moving to the top of the table.
Then within a few hours, OakNorth launched its second new version of the account that day, this time paying 1.78% tax free/AER – reclaiming top spot.
This is how it remained until late in the week, when OakNorth pulled back from the top with its third change of the week, reducing its offering to 1.75% tax free/AER – leaving Shawbrook to rule the roost.
Elsewhere, Shawbrook also launched a new version of its five year fixed rate cash ISA paying 2.30% tax free/AER, which ties with Coventry Building Society and United Trust Bank at the top of our best buy table.
To view our top five accounts across the full range of terms, please refer to our full fixed rate cash ISA best buy tables.
Sharia Fixed Term Accounts
No changes to report in this area of the market, but Sharia accounts currently pay some of the best returns on the market, so are worth closer inspection.
Gatehouse Bank is still offering competitive versions of its two year, three year and five year fixed term accounts.
In addition, these accounts are available through the Raisin UK savings platform, where a welcome bonus of up to £100 is available for new customers – as mentioned earlier.
For those looking for a shorter term, BLME is top of the pile, paying 2.20% gross/AER – head and shoulders above the rest of the one year fixed term market.
Al Rayan is also in amongst the top rates, matching Gatehouse Bank for three years (2.50% gross/AER) and offering a competitive 18 month option, which pays 2.30% gross/AER.
Please refer to our Sharia fixed term accounts best buy table for more information on the accounts above.
Easy Access Accounts
Not many changes to the top five this week, but there was some interesting news from RCI Bank – which now has a UK Banking Licence and so funds deposited with the provider are now covered by the UK FSCS, whereas previously they were covered by the French equivalent scheme.
For more information on this, take a look at our article – ‘RCI Bank announces its new UK banking licence’.
Currently on offer is the provider’s Freedom Savings Account, paying a competitive 1.42% gross/AER*, just short of a position in our top five.
The Family Building Society is still top of our table, with its Premium Saver paying 1.51% gross/AER.
The account has a funding cut-off date of 29 March 2019, after which you cannot add further funds to the account and there is a comparatively high minimum balance requirement of £15,000.
Next up is Virgin Money, paying 1.50% gross/AER; however, its Double Take E-Saver does restrict you to just two withdrawals per year – so may not suit everyone.
Then it’s Marcus by Goldman Sachs, which also pays 1.50% AER but features an introductory bonus as part of the headline rate.
So, with a number of introductory bonuses and other restrictive terms and conditions evident amongst many of the top-paying accounts, Shawbrook Bank (1.43% gross/AER) offers something a little more straightforward – albeit at a lower rate.
Further information on the leading accounts can be found in our easy access best buy table.
Variable Rate Cash ISAs
There were two competitive variable rate cash ISAs launched this week.
Paragon relaunched its Limited edition easy access cash ISA Issue 5, paying 1.45% tax free/AER.
Yorkshire Building Society launched a new version of its Single Access Saver ISA, paying a competitive 1.46% tax free/AER. In addition, there is a standard non-ISA equivalent paying the same rate.
The main factor to be aware of with this account is, as the name suggests, you are only able to access your money on one day over the first year, so may not suit everyone.
Santander and Coventry Building Society remain the top-paying options amongst easy access ISAs.
Both ISAs are paying 1.50% tax free/AER - although the Santander cash ISA is only available to new and existing 1|2|3 World or Santander Select customers.
The ISA from Coventry is available to all, but the rate does include a 0.35% introductory bonus for the first 12 months.
For further information on these accounts and the rest of our top five, please refer to our variable rate cash ISA best buy table.
If you would like any help with your savings, why not give one of our Bath-based experts a call on 0800 011 9705, we’d love to hear from you.
*We are occasionally paid by some providers if you click through from our Best Buy Tables and open a savings or current account with them. We will never accept a payment that compromises in any way our independent, whole of market approach to providing information on savings products. For clarity we will indicate those companies who remunerate us with an asterisk (*).
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